magic

Zine Spotlight #1: Manifesting Magic

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While I was still living in France I ordered Gabi'sManifesting Magic Zine and had it sent to Austin, knowing that it would be waiting for me when I returned. But the waiting? Was excruciating. So when I finally got my hands on it last month after 21 hours of planes and airports, I was thrilled.

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I wasn't quite sure what to expect inside the pages, but all of Gabi's illustrations and words of wisdom struck a chord with me deep in my bones. Each page has its own piece of art and seamlessly blends art with soulful advice -- little reminders that we sometimes forget in the everyday hustle and bustle.

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This zine has turned into my own little oracle of sorts. If I'm feeling particularly down or blocked creatively or emotionally, I'll pull it out and open to a random page and try to then incorporate whatever is on the page into the rest of my day.

Thank you Gabi for creating such a wonderful, magical zine!

P.S. -- My tarot cards were hand-made by the amazing Katie Rose Pipkin and if you're curious on how to read tarot, here's a great guide for you!

Lessons on Magic, Tea, Music, and Intuition with Paige

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Hello Paige! Would you mind introducing yourself and what you do?Hi there, sweet chicken! I’m Paige Zaferiou and I’m a tarot reader, magical practitioner, and tea maven. As a reader and practitioner, I specialize in helping people remember where they put their power - specifically, their ability to trust themselves and take action. Sometimes, that looks like slingin’ cards over Skype. Other times it looks like a snail mail care package full of magical tea and goodies for you to play with. Ultimately, all of my work is about helping people remember that they are capable of accomplishing fulfilling lives.

One of the first things that first drew me to you was your daily tarot and energy advice posts on Instagram. Can you tell me about that? How you got the idea, the process for reading the cards, and how it has impacted your daily life (if at all). My daily tarot posts on Instagram came about as a direct result of my tarot studies. The process was a beautiful example of the way trial and error works.

When I first began studying tarot, I pulled cards every day and journaled extensively in my effort to get to know my deck, its ins and outs, its commonalities, its relationships. I filled an entire notebook with observations, and in the process of doing so I experimented with different ways to record which cards I had pulled and what I saw - I used symbols, shorthand, and diagrams. I dissected each card and I wrote stream-of-consciousness about the messages I saw. I kept it up every day and, in the process, discovered what journaling methods worked for me and what didn’t.

Eventually, in my search for magical babes to connect with, I began following other tarot enthusiasts on Instagram. Many of them posted daily card draws, and one format in particular, the two-card “Energy and Advice” spread, caught my eye. I began to pull daily energy and advice cards.

AND THEN one fateful day, instead of writing in my journal, I began to write my interpretation of the cards directly into Instagram. To my surprise, the words began to flow out of me with astonishing ease! It felt so right, so good. I was grooving with it, baby!

And thus was DTEA (daily tarot energy and advice) born.

Doing this daily draw has been wonderful for my magical practice. I get a lot of questions from people with a budding interest in tarot and/or magic, and that is always my first piece of advice: get a deck of cards and play with it every day. It exercises your intuition so deliciously!

Also, it’s important to note that your practice may not look like my practice. I found my groove through experimentation, and I encourage others to do the same. For example, my DTEA is a daily routine that is NOT time specific. I always pull the cards spontaneously, when the time feels right. That’s what works for me, and I dig it, baby! But you might like to pull cards at the same time each morning, or right before bed. That’s groovy, too!

You talk a lot about tea, and even make and sell your own. As a fellow tea lover, I understand the magic of tea, but I was curious about what makes it magical to you? I feel like everyone’s love for tea and the magic it brings into their lives is a very personal experience, you know? Like my dad’s love and how tea serves him in his daily life is different than how tea serves my own and different than how it serves yours.My relationship with tea began as one of herbs and healing. The winter I was eleven, we had visitors from England and all of us got the flu. Being British, they promptly brewed up some chamomile - and I was smitten. Not long after, I discovered the tea plant itself and oh, what a love match made in heaven!

For me, the magic of tea is very literal. It combines all of the elements - the leaves grew from the earth, fire heats the water, and the steam carries its heavenly aroma which activates the powers of air. The compounds within tea make it a powerful ally when it comes to magic. My practice is solitary and animistic, meaning that for me, the spirit of the tea plant and other herbs you brew are very much alive. Tea is a very powerful ally and friend.

Did you know tea is actually psychoactive? It can cross the blood-brain barrier and alter consciousness! That's part of what makes tea so magical to me. Tea is one of the keys to unlocking reality. Each tiny sip opens the door that much wider until, before you know it, you've slipped into another world altogether.

The new world looks a lot like the old one, but we experience it differently. Our bodies hum and thrum in response to the gentle stimulus of caffeine. We relax. Our minds expand and clear. It is a merrier world, the world of tea, innately cheerful and buoyant. You can't help but feel better with your hands curled around a steaming cuppa.

Unfortunately, many people believe that magic is something far away and unattainable. My mission in life is teach people that magic is everywhere, right under your nose all the time, and you don’t need fancy tools or a ceremonial initiation to practice magic in your home.

Tea is one of those valuable everyday household magics. It is so apparently ordinary, like water or salt, that we forget how much power is contained within. It is magic in plain sight. I use tea in practically all of my magical workings, from meditation to spellwork to ritual bathing. I've even developed my own system of tea magic based on the Western elemental system of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Tea is my constant companion, trusted ally, and stalwart friend.

In your post on space you talk about how you make your own worksheets. Is that something you’ve always done or is it a fairly new part of your life?Drawing, writing, and painting have most definitely always been part of my life. I majored in fine art (watercolor painting and book binding), and will always consider myself to be an artist first and foremost.

I’ve also always had a strange love for filling out forms! There’s something about the layout of the questions, the blank spaces, and the satisfaction of filling that space with my own essence - it feels like a ritualistic act of self-consideration, an act of understanding. I just love it!

That said, it’s only in the last year that I really began creating worksheets for myself and sharing them with others. When I began reading tarot, I kept a journal and experimented with how to record the reading in writing. Eventually, my journal pages began to resemble worksheet pages. When I decided to start teaching workshops, it only seemed natural to create worksheets for my students.

Music plays a large part on your blog, I’ve noticed. How has it impacted your life outside of blogging?Music is life. I cannot imagine living without it.

Songs are like spells; they weave a reality in which I can lose myself, joyfully and freely, and when I come out of the song the world is changed.

Music is also an aid to moving meditation - I listen to music when I wash the dishes, do laundry, daydream on the bus, and go for walks. When I’m working at my desk, I take regular music breaks. I get up and dance around to sweet tunes or I’ll sing folk songs with my ukulele. It keeps my brain from getting stuck and my body from getting cramped!

Paige, how did you get into tarot and magic? And when did you know it was the right path to follow those passions into a business?WHAT a good question! Tarot is relatively a very recent outlet for my interest in magic, albeit the one which came most naturally to me.

The winter I was eleven - the selfsame winter in which I drank my first cup of tea -  I simultaneously fell headlong in love with magic and a girl whose mother was a witch.

It so happened that the following January contained a blue moon. I’ll never know what possessed me to do this, but I decided that I should have a blue moon party. I invited the witch-daughter and three other girls over to my house, where we scoffed blue-frosted round scones, baked clay crescent moon earrings, and gathered around my mother’s coffee table to cast a circle. The witch-daughter led us, lighting candles and invoking the four directions. We held hands and went around the circle, taking turns saying nice things about each other. Afterward my mother drove us to an abandoned tower in the woods, which we climbed to stand, howling and laughing, beneath the moon. I will never forget that night: the cold, the snow, the bare branches and the thrill of making magic with my peers beneath the fat yellow moon.

I’ve walked a long and crooked path since then, but I never lost my belief in magic. After I moved to San Francisco, I fell in love with tarot and began reading for myself and all of my friends. After a few months, they started to say things like, “Uh, Paige? You’re really good at this. Like, really. You could do this for a living.”

So, here I am! I’ve always known I would be happiest working for myself, and I’m very fortunate to have found a useful skill that comes naturally to me. Reading tarot is one of those things I love to do so much that I’d do it every day for free if I didn’t have bills to pay. I’d say that’s the best indicator that this is the right path to follow into business!

Do you feel like San Francisco is a conduit in your magic at all? Why or why not?Absolutely. The place that you live, wherever you live, is an integral part of your magic. I’m very lucky; San Francisco happens to be one of the most magical cities on earth! It has a very special quality. There is something about the light here, something delicious and freeing, sharp and clear and illuminating.

I grew up in harsh, granite New England, which is a very weird place but retains a sort of Puritan sternness in its character. Growing up, I got teased a lot for being really weird. San Francisco is a great place to be weird. It’s also a great place to be a magical practitioner, practically speaking! I bought my first Tarot deck at the Scarlet Sage, an herbal apothecary in my neighborhood that sells books, oils, candles, and all manner of magical supplies. There are botanicas everywhere, full of statuary and altars. The walls of the city are literally covered in art. I’ve seen murals of Ganesha and alleyway altars to the Virgin of Guadalupe. There are secret treasure troves filled with wood stoves and swords, beads and runes, meditation rooms and buckets of crystals.

In short: San Francisco is a ding-dang magical place to be.

You inspire many people, but I’m curious — who inspires you? Who makes your soul shake, your spirit tingle, fill you up with positive energy and optimism? Yes! Oh, my sweet chickadees!

First and foremost, I owe an incredible debt to Gala Darling. Her optimism, positive energy, and practical advice guided me out of a ten-year stay in the darkest waters of chronic depression. I can’t even tell you. Thanks in large part to Gala’s story, her infallible sparkle and message of radical self love, I finally, finally emerged out of the darkness and into the light. It was also through her site that I discovered Theresa Reed, aka The Tarot Lady, who is a shining example of a majorly magical business BOSS. Observing her example of what owning your own business could look like has been incredibly inspirational to me.

Leonie Dawson is a gift to the world. She’s the one who inspired me to go into business for myself in the first place. She showed me that it’s possible to be wildly successful in business and still be 100% your own weird self. And she makes me laugh!

My magical practice owes a great deal to practitioners who blog and openly share stories, information, and resources. Bri Saussy and Sarah Anne Lawless are the two I admire most. Their work inspires and excites me, pushing me to learn and explore and experiment and get my hands dirty with magic.

Alexandra Franzen taught me that to be successful, all I really need to do is be helpful. Her laser-lucid guidance keeps my wild ADHD brain on track, and her sweet soulful nature keeps my heart uplifted.

A magical babe cannot succeed without a goddess gang to lift her up, inspire her, and walk the path beside her. I am incredibly honored to call Dyana Valentine and Sally Hope members of my goddess gang. HEYY PRIESTESS!

You can only read one book, watch one television show and movie, and listen to one album for the next year. What do you choose? OH GOD. Ok. I can do this.

I choose The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien considered them one big book, so I count them as such), The Adventures of Pete and Pete because it tickles me PINK, the movie Mystery Men, and Tom Waits’ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards. It’s a 3-disk album, which might be cheating, or might just indicate how important music is to me.

What would you say to someone who needs the last little push to follow their passion in life? My #1 piece of advice is always: Learn to trust yourself. You are more powerful than you realize. Underneath self-doubt and fear there is a voice inside you that knows which way to go, which way is right and good and will fill you up with love and light. All you have to do is listen for it. It might be small at first, quiet and unassuming among the cacophony of doubts and insecurities, but it’s there. You can never kill it completely. So listen for it, tend it and keep listening to it once you’ve found it. Follow it. Trust it. You’re going to be OK.

You can find Paige online on her blog, instagram, and twitter!

Why Being Single on Valentine's Day is a Surprisingly Good Idea

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Image found on pinterest.com

It sounds crazy, right?! Who wants to be single on the day of the year that is essentially made for couples when all the corporations are telling us over and over again that being single is the worst thing that could happen? I do, and you should too! Because if you're flying solo then you can spend the day with the most important person in your life -- you.

Tweet: Valentine's day is about love, but who the heck said it only meant romantic love? http://ctt.ec/QVzof+ via @sunshynedarling

Valentine's day is about love, but who the heck said it only meant romantic love? 

Why not self-love? Why not spending the day with your best friend and celebrating the love you two share? Just like the concept drift compatibility in Pacific Rim showed that every type of love is as important as the other, remember that all the different ways you love people in your life are equally important. Because as humans we do love different people in different ways and we owe it to ourselves and those our love to not rank those types of love and call one way better and another way inferior.

Image from gemmatickle.com
Image from gemmatickle.com

This Friday I challenge you to express your love to everybody you care about or makes your life a little bit brighter. Your parents, best friends, an awesome coworker or boss, that delivery guy who always tells a joke that makes you smile. Genuinely thank the cashier at a grocery store or a barista at a coffee shop, call that friend you lost contact with months ago and wish them an amazing day. If you need some help writing some heartfelt messages, or you have no idea what to say, Alexandra has created some scripts just for you!

Tweet: When you share your love freely, you're also enriching your own soul and allowing joy to find you http://ctt.ec/nedoh+ via @sunshynedarling

When you share your love freely, you're also enriching your own soul and allowing joy to find you.

So this year be the crazy one without a significant other. Celebrate yourself, celebrate everyone around you. Don't let a fear of being alone get you down because you're never as alone as you might think you are. You've got a tribe of amazing people around you, I'm sure of it. So don't let anyone else dictate what constitutes love -- define it for yourself, on your own terms.

8 Contemporary Poetry Books You Need to Read in 2014

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Good Grief by Stevie Edwards / Strange Light by Derrick C. Brown / Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire / The Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon

Have you ever read something that makes you feel like you've been sucker-punched, but in a really wonderful way? That's how poetry is for me and my love for it blossomed when I took a poetry workshop at school a year ago. We were reading poetry and writing poetry, and I was actually studying poetry in one of my literature classes that semester as well. Since then I've been reading everything I can get my hands on and these eight books are what I recommend everyone who asks me what they should read.

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The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson / Come on All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder / Poetry 180 by Billy Collins / Crush by Richard Siken

They are all contemporary poets, so don't worry about having to struggle through Shakespeare or anything. I own all but two of these, and have been delighted, moved to tears, and felt like I've grown as a person because of the words contained in the pages. There are many, many more poets and books I could recommend, but these are my top eight. And believe me, choosing only these was NOT an easy decision.

If you read any or all of these, I'd love to know what you thought! Talking about poetry is one of my favorite things, and I hope this list will help some of you fall in love with it as well.

Have You Ever Wanted To Learn How To Read Tarot But Didn't Know Where To Start?

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Then today is your lucky day! Miss Bri, of Milagro Roots (who I had the immense pleasure of meeting and getting to know when The Blogcademy came to Austin), has answered a question I asked her in August in a guest post so the knowledge can be shared with all of you magical babes. I've always been curious about reading tarot but had no idea where to start, so I asked her if she could teach me, especially since I had picked up a beautiful deck earlier that year. So, without further ado, here is Bri's introduction to reading tarot:

Image from www.lizlamoreux.com
Image from www.lizlamoreux.com

Start with the Rider Waite Smith deck

If Tarot is a romance language then the Rider Waite Smith (also known as Rider Waite) deck is Latin--the beginning of the beginning. Not the oldest deck nor the most traditional, the RWS has attained such high status for a few interesting historical reasons but primarily because so many of the decks that came after its publication in 1909 follow the same basic system of symbol and meaning--if you cut your tarot teeth on the Ride Waite Smith deck you will be way ahead of the game.

Learn the history of the cards

There are some topics (Lady Gaga, the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot…) that are as misunderstood as the tarot but not many. The occult trappings of both tarot cards and reading the cards for divinatory purposes did not really get set into motion until the Victorian era. My favorite book that gives a real and fair look at the history of the cards is Paul Huson's Mystical Origins of the Tarot. Follow that up with Rachel Pollack's Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom and you will have a solid foundation to work from. The books do not teach you how to read tarot--that comes from within you, but they do assist in placing tarot within a greater context--and that will help you as you feel your way through the cards.

Divination is a ritual--treat it like one

Tarot cards may or may not have been originally intended for divination purposes (it's a hot debate) but that is their primary purpose, especially in America, these days. Divination is a sacred art and as such one should approach a tarot reading in an open, friendly, and sincere manner. Light a candle, burn some incense, take time to center yourself and access that still, small voice within you--the cards reflect truths you already know.

Image from www.milagroroots.com
Image from www.milagroroots.com

Keep your spreads simple

I am always surprised at how many beginner books hand out really elaborate spreads, especially since some of the best readers I know stick to the old so-called Gypsy method of 1/2/3=past/present/future. Start with drawing one card, two cards (especially great for yes/no questions) and three cards--then bloom from there with a spread like this one.

Know that you know

Tarot cards are a map. They show us what we already know to be true--but maybe forgot (or decided to willfully ignore)--you already know the answers sweet thing!

Happy Trails and Happy Tarot!

[lightgrey_box]You can connect with Miss Bri on her

website / twitter / facebook / pinterest / tumblr / google+ / instagram[/lightgrey_box]

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